Jorge Lorenzo says riding in a different team to Valentino Rossi will prove advantageous in 2017.
The duo have shared the same garage for seven seasons at Yamaha but Lorenzo is preparing for his final race on the factory YZR-M1 at Valencia in Spain this weekend before taking over as the number one rider at Ducati.
The Mallorcan, speaking during the pre-race press conference, said being free of the fierce competition between the pair under the same awning will be a big plus.
“I think now it will be better because now we learned from each other, but we will be in different teams. What we learned from each other we can put it on the track,” Lorenzo said.
“Before, when we shared the same team, someone had to finish in front of the other one, but now maybe we can take profit from what we learned from the other side.”
Lorenzo admits it will be difficult to leave Yamaha but he is also relishing the chance of taking on a new challenge at Ducati.
“Obviously it's a mix of feelings. I want to try and finish in the best way with Yamaha and they gave me a lot in all my career. We are at a track that fits me very well, especially in the last years, so I think if the weather keeps well and the tyres are working, we have a good chance to fight for the victory or at least for the podium.
“It's strange because [I've had] so many years with the same people and the same bike and sadly you have to switch and discover new things,” he added. “Now we have three more days with Yamaha and when we finish Sunday's race then we will think about the next bike.”
Lorenzo has fond memories of Valencia, where he clinched his third premier class title in 2015 after taking victory from Repsol Honda riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.
“Last year, especially on Saturday, I made the best lap of my life because the pressure was huge and the lap was incredible – I made almost the perfect lap. In the race I was pushing all the time and at the beginning I was so fast and for Marc it was difficult to keep my pace,” he said.
“But then the problem was that I started losing grip in the right side and I lost a lot in the right corners, so that's where Marc and Dani caught me a lot in the final part of the race. Finally, I kept the pressure and I kept pushing as far as possible.
“This year is different because we start very strong with our bike but then it looks like the other factories improve their bikes and now it is quote difficult to win races,” he added.
“But we are there and in the last five races we had our chance to win. In Valencia in the last five years we have been competitive an we have our chance to fight for the win.”